First public e-bike scheme in Wales launched in Penarth
Wales' first public electric bike share scheme has launched in Penarth.
A fleet of 50 e-bikes and five stations were launched, by global bike share operator nextbike, with funding from the Vale of Glamorgan Council who received numerous requests from the public to introduce its own scheme.
This was based on the success of the nextbike cycle hire scheme in Cardiff; in just two years the Cardiff e-bike scheme has clocked up more than 892,525 rentals.
E-bikes are similar to normal bikes, but with a motor - meaning less difficulty peddling and cyclists reaching top speeds of 25km per hour, ideal for longer distance journeys.
The stations are located at the Esplanade, Llandough Hospital, Rindsor Road, Penarth Train Station and the Barrage.
Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood services and Transport, Cllr Peter King, said: “I’m delighted that we have become the first Council in Wales to introduce public electric bikes.
“Having declared a climate emergency earlier this year, it is vital that as a Council we continue to support active and sustainable methods of transport. The bikes are simple to use and their modest tariffs compare favourably with the cost of travelling by car, bus or train.
“The initiative will benefit the health and wellbeing of our commuters and residents and should also be attractive to tourists. If this proves to be a success, we hope to see the scheme expand further.”
Use of the Penarth fleet, which launched on November 12, is hoped to reduce congestion and CO2 levels, along with bringing public health benefits to its users - staff working at Llandough Hospital are being offered free memberships to the scheme.
For more information on free NHS memberships, visit nextbike.co.uk/en/covid-19-information/
Krysia Solheim, nextbike UK managing director, said: “We’re delighted to be launching the fleet for the people of Penarth and beyond
“As the first of its kind in the country, these bikes are not only important to the people of Penarth, they’re also significant to leading the bike share revolution across the whole of Wales.
“We know that when properly implemented, bike share schemes bring major benefits, as can be seen from our fleets in Cardiff and Swansea. It’s an exciting time for Penarth, and it’s largely thanks to the forward-thinking of The Vale of Glamorgan Council.
“Our research has shown that a lot of commuters already cycle from Penarth into Cardiff and our ultimate ambition is to be able to eventually link the two schemes.
“E-bikes are not only great for reducing journey times and taking on steep hills, they’re also a great way of getting people of all abilities and fitness levels into cycling. And with Covid restrictions still in place, cycling offers people the perfect way to travel whilst practicing social distancing.
“While the pandemic has made logistics difficult, we all agreed that it was important to launch the scheme to help support the community and provide another safe transport option.”
Although the e-bikes can currently only be rented and returned to Penarth stations the ambition is to eventually link the scheme to nextbike's Cardiff fleet.
E-bike rental will cost £1 per 30 minutes for customers with monthly or annual membership or £2 per 30 minutes on a pay as you ride basis.
The nextbike project is being funded by Section 106 sustainable transport contributions.